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FLU SHOT: Kids of all ages need one

By Ann Tatko-Peterson
Thursday, February 28th, 2008 at 12:19 pm in Health & Safety.

Kids cold ILLUS.jpgAs someone who’s watching her family battle the flu, a federal panel’s advisory has come a little too late to help. At least for this year. On Wednesday, an advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommended annual flu shots for all children 6 months to 18 years old. Previously, only children 5 and under were on the recommended list. (To read more about the panel’s recommendations, see today’s story in the Times.)

The CDC’s recommendation will prompt more insurance companies to cover these shots. Plus, with more children receiving them, the likelihood of passing the flu from schoolchildren to adults decreases. And from personal experience, that can only be a good thing.

Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of flu shots. A few years ago I had one and immediately got sick. My doctor assured me there was no link, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I have changed my tune these past few weeks. My stepdaughter got hit by a nasty bug she picked up at school, and promptly passed it on to my husband, who’s still laid up and missing work.

Next year, my family will be first in line for the shots. Then, we’ll just cross our fingers and hope the vaccine covers whatever strain is popular that year. Best of all, I won’t have to drag my stepdaughter kicking and screaming to get her shot. Turns out they now have a nasal spray that eliminates needles from the equation. Essentially, we no longer have an excuse not to get vaccinated.

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